Welcome BOS members and all interested in birding Western New York and Niagara Peninsula of Ontario!

featured bird photo
Immature Little Blue Heron - photo by Alec Humann

Scoping August

Shorebird migration is in full swing this month. Juvenile shorebirds are arriving in the region and some of the better locations to look include Tifft Nature Preserve, Gallagher Beach, Times Beach, Wilkeson Pointe, Dunkirk Harbor, Tonawanda WMA and Modern Wetlands.

Neotropical migrants are also moving in decent numbers - check Forest Lawn Cemetery, Tifft Nature Preserve and other migrant traps. Late August is the best time to find a Golden-winged Warbler. Yellow Warblers are moving in huge numbers this month.

At the end of the month, Purple Martins are amassing in the thousands off the north end of Buckhorn Island SP in their communal roost. It's recommended to arrive an hour before sunset to observe the massive flock of birds as they congregate above the cattail island. Blackbirds also roost here this time of year and Common Nighthawks patrol the late summer skies.

This is also the time of year for southern wading birds to occasionally disperse north so keep an eye out for southern herons, egrets and ibis.

The Buffalo Ornithological Society (BOS) has something to offer to anyone passionate about birds: from the backyard feeder- watcher, the avid lister or the environmental activist, to the dedicated citizen scientist or the professional ornithologist. Society activities include regular programs, field trips, intensive long-term bird counts, checklist and date guide development, varied research activities, and involvement in local conservation efforts. We invite you to join in the activities of the society!

 BOS Membership  

The Buffalo Ornithological Society, Inc. was established in 1929 to promote the study of the birds of the Niagara Frontier Region. Annual grants are awarded by the BOS to fund member-sponsored avian research projects. We are proud of our extensive scientific research databases, our continuing involvement in environmental and conservation activities that impact birds, and our promotion of the enjoyment of ornithology.

The BOS coverage area includes Western New York and parts of nearby Ontario, Canada. This region is rich in bird life with over 380 species and 25 recognizable subspecies of birds recorded. Explore our site to learn more about where to report and find birds, both regional specialties and rare visitors.

  Mark Your Calendar Now!

2017 NYS Birders Conference / NYSOA Annual Meeting
November 10-12, 2017

The Buffalo Ornithological Society is hard at work planning the 2017 NYS Birders Conference and NYSOA Annual Meeting. The conference will be held at the new Hilton Hotel right at the entrance to Niagara Falls State Park, November 10-12, 2017 (Veteran's Day weekend).

Why so late in the year? Because the birding is fabulous then! Waterfowl! Gulls! With possibilities for phalaropes, jaegers, and rare or lingering songbirds! You just never know!

Mark your calendar now and check back here for details in the months ahead.

Registrations are now open!

More About the Conference          Register for the Conference 

  Contribute Your BOS Trip Photos

If anyone has any BOS trip or field trip photos to add, there are already a couple of albums started for a the last couple of trips. Please feel free to add yours; I'm sure everyone would love to see them!

  NEEDED: Writers for the Prothonotary Month

Writers for The Prothonotary Month are needed. Please contact Mike Morgante (morgm@roadrunner.com) if you're willing to help.

  Upcoming Field Trips and Events

Several field trips, meetings, and events have recently been added to our calendar. Take a look and be sure to join us at a meeting or on one of our field trips!

Aug 27, 2017

Field Trip - Canadian Shoreline of Lake Erie - Shorebirds

Details: (click for more info)

Meet at 7am at the corner of Vermont St and Busti in Buffalo.

***Proper identification required to cross the border into Canada! There is an entrance fee for this park.

Join Doug Happ along the NE shore of Lake Erie to seek out migrant shorebirds. Rock Point has treated viewers to regionally rare species like Red Knot, Western Sandpiper and Willet in years past. Orchard Orioles have bred in this park and may still be present during the August trip. We will hopefully cross paths with migrant warblers as well! After Rock Point, we will continue on to the nearby sod farms to search for 'grasspipers' that prefer this different habitat. Whimbrel and Piping Plover have graced this sod farm in previous years. Be prepared to walk over rocky, exposed lake bed when at Rock Point as well as a staircase down to the shore. Bring drinks and a lunch as there aren't amenities other than bathrooms within the park.

Leader: Doug Happ (dhapp@msn.com)

Sep 03, 2017

Field Trip - Fort Erie Hotspots

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Marcie Jacklin
Meet at 8am in the parking lot at the south end of Crescent Road. From here we can carpool if necessary.

This trip will focus on southbound migrants, both passerines and shorebirds. The north shore of Lake Erie just west of Buffalo has many great little migrant traps and Marcie knows them well. This trip will probably visit Jaeger Rocks (near historic Old Fort Erie), the foot of Kraft Road and the rocky shore at Windmill Point. There is also a woodlot where the old Erie Beach Casino used to stand, now a communal roost of Red-headed Woodpeckers stages here before migrating south and we hope to enjoy their company!

Remember to bring proper identification to cross the border!

Sep 09, 2017

Field Trip - Purple Martin Fall Roost Site Field Trip

Details: (click for more info)

At 6:45 PM, the BOS and the NYS Purple Martin Project are leading a Purple Martin Fall Roost Site Field Trip. The event is at Buckhorn Island State Park on Grand Island, NY (map link below).

Meet at the large parking lot on East-West Park Rd. Thousands of martins typically congregate before going to roost in the reed bed in the Niagara River. Join us and see this exciting event!

Directions: For people coming from points south: take the Long Road exit on the northbound 190. This exit will take you to Grand Island Blvd. Turn left and drive 100 feet or so to the 4-way stop. This is the intersection of Long Rd and Grand Island Blvd. At this 4-way stop, turn right onto Long Rd. Take Long Rd all the way to Baseline and turn left onto Baseline. Take Baseline to East River Rd and turn left. Find the large parking lot on the north side of East River Rd.

A non-strenuous, short walk is required. NOTE: There are no restroom facilities available at Buckhorn Island State Park. Leader Celeste Morien (585) 721-8202; Celeste.morien@gmail.com

This link provides a map of the park showing the reed bed we will be viewing in the Niagara River:

Buckhorn Island BCA Map

Sep 10, 2017

Field Trip - Times Beach and the Seaway Slip

Details: (click for more info)

Leader: Jajean Rose-Burney

Meet at 8am in the Times Beach Parking Lot next to Wilkeson Point Park.

Join Jajean for a stroll through the wood lot at Times Beach Preserve. There are several blinds that look out over the pond and cattail marsh as well as an elevated boardwalk through the Cottonwood trees. This is a gem of a preserve and has a long list of rarities that have been discovered here over the years. This will be a half day trip looking for fall migrants.

After walking Times Beach, the group will drive over to the Seaway Slip and look specifically for migrant Black-bellied and American Golden-Plovers. The short grass field here has been fairly reliable for these species over the last few years.

Sep 13, 2017


Details: (click for more info)

September 13: Wed. BOS Meeting in the Cummings Room of the Buffalo Museum of Science at 7:00 PM.

There will be a short presentation from the talented Kevin Rybczynski on learning or improving your digi-scoping or digi-binning skills!

Also, bring along your favorite summer stories and photos to share with other members!

Sep 24, 2017

Field Trip - Tifft Nature Preserve

Details: (click for more info)

Leader - Joe Mitchell
Meet at 8am at the footbridge just past the Visitor's Center.

Tifft is one of Buffalo's premier birding hotspots. With over 200 species recorded at this urban preserve, we are sure to end up with a great checklist for the day. Tifft includes ponds, cattail marsh, riparian areas and a grassland. The trails are level and easily walkable and there are also short boardwalk sections. At this time of year we will be focusing on Neotropical migrants and there's always a chance at Virginia Rail along the boardwalk. If water levels are low in the marsh, we will hope to cross paths with shorebirds.

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